tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC October 29, 2011 6:00am-9:00am PDT
and a very good morning to you. here's what's happening on "weekends with alex witt." a deadly day in afghanistan for americans. we've got more details just coming in on an attack apparently directed at u.s. troops. and 7 billion and counting, if we can count that high, the world's population growing. is it reaching a tipping point, though? we'll take a look at some staggering statistics for you. a new approach, might the president's push to bypass congress score him points with key voting blocs in the country? could it help the economy as well? october surprise. snowstorm hitting the northeast. up to a foot of snow in parts. but where?
good morning, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." breaking news. to afghanistan, we're getting world that as many as ten have been killed in a attack on kabul. we have the report from kabul. what's the latest, several attacks to talk about. >> reporter: good morning, richard. yeah, at least three attacks throughout different parts of the country. the biggest occurring here in the capital of kabul, as you mentioned, at least ten americans killed, according to a senior u.s. official. when a car bomb struck a nato convoy. and the western part of the city. in a place called darlamon road. a press release saying at least 13 nato service members died. we're still trying to figure out what nationalities those last three were. afghans were also killed in the attack. three civilians and one afghan police officer. then going down south in the country, nato is also saying that a man wearing an afghan
security uniform actually turned his weapon -- weapon onto nato service members, killing at least two. we do not know the nationality of those nato service members. then coming back east into the country, in a place called kunar province, a woman suicide bomber, which is really unusual in afghanistan at least, was wearing explosives. covered explosives with her burqa, went to an afghan intelligence office, gdetonated her explosives. three people injured but only the bomber herself who died. richard? >> who is claiming responsibility for this? if you could, put this in context for us in terms of the scale of progress, our lack thereof, these attacks might indicate. >> reporter: what was really interesting. and actually frightening for that matter is the taliban sent a text message shortly after the bombing, claiming responsibility. they claim to have killed 16 foreign service members. but what was interesting about
that is they obviously had someone there who was keeping an eye on the body counted that was coming out of this bus carrying nato service members. they weren't exactly accurate on the amount of actual foreigners who died but also afghans involved in that. maybe they couldn't differentiate between the nationalities. to the other part of your question, actually, this comes just days before a conference that's going to take place in istanbul, turkey, a conference about afghanistan and its regional impact in the future. so, the taliban obviously want to show they're still here, screaming for attention to show the international community they haven't been defeated yet. >> and using text messages on top of that for the body count. atia, great stuff. thank you so much. back in the united states, the big weather story this weekend is october notice. connecticut seeing snow and preparations are under way for a snowstorm that's moving up the east coast this morning. look at that. some places could get snowfall
that reaches 10 inches. nbc meteorologist bill karins has details. >> good morning. an historic day of snow and heavy, wet snow that's going to be the story for the eastern seaboard. let's get into it. winter storm warning widespread. a forecast map you'd see in december or january. everywhere in pink where you can expect accumulating snows and power outages. if you still have leaves on the trees, much areas of west virginia, outside of d.c. up into the blue ridge, all through central pennsylvania and eastern pennsylvania. then outside of the big cities of new york, philly and up there into connecticut and massachusetts. so high pressure to the north, low pressure off the carolina coast. that low pressure system is going to track just a classic nor'easter path up the coast. right now setting the stage, high pressure to the north. temperatures aren't that cold. this storm is literally going to generate its own cold air as it intensifies during the day today. also pull down some colder air up there in northern new
england. we don't have a lot of snow that will stick during the morning hours. it will be as the storm intensifies that we'll see the heavier snow. you'll notice on the radar, the green is the rain. that's pretty much the i-95 corridor. just a rainy saturday morning. now back now into west virginia and central pennsylvania. that's where the worst will be during the day today. the blue on this map shows you where heavy snow is by 4:00. by this evening it will push through new york and philly and up through central new england. by 2 a.m. the heaviest snows are up by massachusetts, new hampshire. by tomorrow morning, the storm is completely gone. how much snow are we talking? not much, i-95, from new york to philly a slushy inch. to the coast, nothing. harrisburg up to 5 inches of snow it's going to be the northern new jersey, hudson valley, through the cat skills, poconos, the berkshires and up through new hampshire and maine. that's where the heaviest snow totals will be. that's where there's going to be shove shoveling done and that's where we'll see a possibility of the worst power outages. we'll update throughout the day. stay with us on msnbc.
>> thanks, bill. of course, traveling, check in with airlines. several travel warnings and waivers at the moment. to the obama administration saying it's looking into loans it's made to renewable energy companies. the investigation was sparked by the collapse of solyndra that went bankrupt after receiving half a billion in cash. they are trying to subpoena the white house relative to the collapse. we have more and a live report from the white house coming up in this half hour. new this morning, president obama saying republicans are not getting the ms. age am this comes to the economy. take a listen. >> over and over they have refused to debate the same kinds of jobs proposals that republicans have supported in the past. proposals supported not just by democrats but independent and republican voters all across america. >> the president cites a survey that found nearly 7 in 10 millionaires are willing to pay more in order to help the economy. republicans say they passed 15
job measures in the house but they stalled in the democrat controlled senate. 2012 politics and herman cain responding to reports about a controversial policy for campaign staff who travel with him in the car. the policy, don't talk to cain unless cain talks to you. that comes from "new york times" citing a staff memo. here's what cain said during a two-day swing through alabama. >> if i'm trying to prepare for a speech, i do tell people to shut up. if i'm preparing for a speech or debate, they know, you know, be quiet because i'm trying to get my thoughts together. so whoever said that's the truth about, you know, this is how i prepare. >> meanwhile, mitt romney has been meeting with voters in new hampshire. he's focusing on the economy. >> right now the economy is spending our federal government
25% of the economy. 25% of the gdp. borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend 37 that's simply inexcusable and immoral. that's what's going on that clock right back here. >> also in new hampshire, rick perry answered questions go his fall in the polls and whether he'll participate in future gop debates. >> i don't know whether or not we'll forego any debates or not. there will be a lot of debates. may be a good debater before this is all over with. >> so, you know, we haven't made any decisions about what we're going to do. >> now, as for other gop candidates with scheduled events today, michele bachmann, rick santorum and ron paul in iowa and newt gingrich in south carolina for a tea party event in florence. we'll have more throughout the next couple hours. we invite to you watch "meet the press" tomorrow. david gregory will speak with david plouffe.
now to the occupy wall street protests in nashville tennessee. new arrests. in fact, police have been arresting occupy protesters the last two nights. demonstrators have been defying new nighttime curfew imposed by the state. protesters have been setting up tents near city hall. several battles between police and demonstrators, you might remember, this week. the u.s. veteran injured during tuesday night's clash is doing better. scott olsen's condition has been upgraded to fair and said to be awake and greeted his mother with a smile. good to hear. a pivotal turn in involuntary manslaughter trial of personal physician, anesthesia said he believes the singer himself gave himself a fatal injection of propofol. dr. paul white says he did not see evidence supporting the prosecution theory that dr. murray was using an iv. >> if, in fact, murray had
administered the drugs that he described in his conversations with the police department and the doses that he described, i would not have expected michael jackson to have died. >> well, the prosecution is expected to cross-examine that witness on monday. bank of america, now considering some new ways to help customers avoid paying a monthly charge for their debit cards. the nation's second largest bank is caving to growing backlash from customers who are outraged by plans to slap debit card users with a $5 monthly fee. >> this was a netflix moment for bank customers. they had been hearing about one new fee after another. and this one was the one that tipped them over the edge. >> a confidential source says the bank will likely allow customers to sidestep that fee if they use b of a credit cards and debit cards or if they maintain a minimum balance. now to baseball. what a night it was on friday. the st. louis cardinals have
capped their improbable run to a world championship. what a game. what a series. the redbirds beat the texas rangers 6-2 in game seven last night. confetti going to claim the franchise's 11th world series title. first since 2006. this year's world series certainly lived up to its nickname of the fall classic. exciting time there in st. louis. instead of glorious fall colors this weekend we'll see a lot of white. folks are getting ready for rare october snowstorm that may hit parts of central and western pennsylvania the hardest now. the weather channel's jim canner to is in harrisburg, pennsylvania. good morning, my friend. what's happening? are we seeing any white? no, looks wet instead at this point. >> reporter: yeah, but a wet snow. we're mixing in here. it's hard to see because i mean, there's so much water with it at this point in time. but the problem is, when you talk about -- when you look at the record for october for harrisburg, it's 2.1 inches in 1925.
we could quadruple that record by the time the day is out. especially if this changeover continues to amplify. you can see all the trees with the leaves -- i mean, they're still green. so, when you start talking about 4 to 6 inches of this heavy, wet glob on top of these tree limbs, we're going to bring them down and bring them down in a hurry and we're expecting large areas of power outages. it's not really if but when. with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour, that means the roads will get slick. off to my west where it's been snowy in altoona, johnstown, 1200 feet, a little higher elevation, we're only at 400 feet, that's where the snow is accumulating on the ground. the good news is, penndot's all over it. out with trucks all morning long. right now hitting those areas. once the state goes all snow, and we start getting accumulation on these trees, there goes the power. that's what we expect this afternoon into tonight up and down new england. >> it's going to be tough with the halloween weekend. folks will have to dress a little more warm. thank you so much. hillary clinton, the fantasy
candidate. her approval rating is soaring. how can the president cash in on her popularity? we'll look into that. later in office politics, brian williams talks to alex witt about his new show "rock center" and what it's like to moderate presidential debates. the story of the topless woman pulled over by police. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman.
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official. again, 13 americans killed in attacks today. it is now 5:45 local time in the afternoon. we will be speaking with general barry mccafferty on what this means, how this happened and what this means going forward. that will be in 20 to 30 minute. the global population is expected to reach 7 billion on monday. the milestone has many wondering about the predictions by a burgeoning population. anne thompson has more. >> reporter: the sound of joy from theette's 7 billionth person will also be a sound of alarm. the child enters a world where 900 million people have no access to clean water. nearly 1 billion go to bed hungry. 2.6 billion have no adequate sanitation. but the nature conservancy lead scientists says we can thrive in an increasingly crowded world. >> this planet can certainly support 7 billion people. but the trick is, how do we deal with common resources that we
all share. >> reporter: the most pressing issue is water. >> people say, water's the next oil. it isn't the next oil. it's irreplaceable. >> we are using water faster than it -- than it becomes available. this is why water tables are falling. >> reporter: 18 countries are overpumping, including china, india and the united states. saudi arabia wanted to be self-sufficient in wheat but will soon stop growing the crop because it has depleted an underground water source. when it comes to food, the world's moved to a more affluent meat based diet increases pressure on the land. rising food prices add to food insecurity. >> probably the biggest hurdle is the fact that tonight at the dinner table there will be 219,000 people who are not there last night and tomorrow night there will be another 219,000 people. >> reporter: it took until 1804 to reach 1 billion people. and more than another century to hit the 2 billion mark. then population growth exploded. the most recent billion people added in just the last dozen years.
however, the rate of growth is slowing, as more women become better educated and find jobs. but it's more than just the sheer number of people on this planet. the pressure also comes from what we make and what we buy. >> he says that's not slowing down. >> my jeans takes 2,000 gallons of water to make. if 7 billion people wanted one pair of jeeb, we're talking, what, 14 trillion gallons of water. you see how it adds up. >> reporter: the challenge now is how do we divide the earth's bounty among 7 billion people and counting. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. and here's a remarkable statistic that tells you something about new york city and texas at the same time. if you pack the entire world population at new york city's density into texas, everyone would fit inside the state of texas. how's that for cozy? now to politics and new numbers this week that show hillary clinton is one of the
most popular political figures in the nation but the secretary of state says she left that part of her world behind had they took reins of the state department. soaring approval marks and foreign policy of late, the former first lady is the subject of some intriguing new speculation. alex altman is correspondent for "time" magazine. thanks for getting up with us. i want to start with this. you know, we got the poll from "time" magazine, from your magazine, that shows here that hillary clinton in a head-to-head match-up with mitt romney compared to president obama versus romney, inside the numbers here, when you look at it, she has a clear advantage. at least when when it takes to polling numbers against current gop candidates. who are some of those voters who do prefer or would prefer hilary but not president obama when they're up against these gop candidates? we're seeing she's doing very well with a fickle bloc, which is independent voters. this is a group that broke heavily for president obama in
2008. and has grown somewhat disillusioned over the past couple of years as we slog through this very slow economic recovery. and i think what's interesting about secretary clinton and, you know, the support that she's engendering among this group is this is a woman who's been in the public eye for decades. she's always been something of a polarizing figure. and i think what we're seeing now, you know, as she has a very strong performance, steering us through very difficult situations abroad is that she's become a transcendent figure. >> 9% to 10%, that's what we're talking about in the margin that would go one way or the other. that seems fairly significant. >> yeah. i mean, there's no question that her reputation has been burnished during her turn at state. you know, she's -- she's steered us through some very sticky situations in libya. and, you know, it's been a strong run with her. i think people appreciate, you know, the work ethic and the powers of persuasion that she's bringing to bear. >> is this just a case whoever's sitting in the president's
office, they'll take the hit? >> yes. no question from obama's perspective, this is a grass is greener scenario. if secretary clinton were president clinton and were presiding over this tumultuous economy, i think, you know, her numbers wouldn't be quite as strat fearic. i think it's only natural. >> you've probably seen this, too, on the jay leno show here where the president was being interviewed by him. i want to play your this bit and get your reaction. >> this is a fun story. stuff i love. this rumor joe biden and hilary might swap and she might run for vice president and -- >> i think they're doing great where they are. you know, both are racking up a lot of miles. you know, joe tends to go more to pittsburgh, hilary is going to karachi. but, you know, they've both got important work to do. they're doing great. >> you don't want to say big f-ing deal in karachi. that causes a problem. >> getting a good laugh.
i mean, how will the president take advantage of, again, the secretary's popularity? will she stump for him? what should he do with that? >> well, i think, you know, it's going to be interesting to see how the white house choss to deploy secretary clinton as a surrogate. no question she's an incredibly strong voice on subjects ranging from national affairs but also domestic policy issue. whether or not they decide to send her out in the trail, to stump for president obama, will be something to look forward to as we get closer to 2012. >> but would that be uncomfortable for him if she were a surrogate on the campaign trail? >> i think, you know, you hit on the question there. i mean, they may be a little leary of calling up the juxtaposition after the skirmishes they had in 2008 with the question of whether or not some voters might be having buyer's remorse. it will be interesting to see how they decide to play this. >> all right. we'll see how it goes. another five or six years, i guess, speculation on hillary clinton. we'll see what happens. thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> you bet. another update on the october surprise, a snowstorm
expected to hit the northeast. plus, the political ad that went viral, leaving many in washington scratching their heads. police officers in ohio probably won't forget this dash cam video any time soon. they pulled over a woman in bainbridge after she left them on a high speed chase that reached 128 miles an hour earlier this month. there she is. using her leg, her foot, whatever, when they stopped, this 28-year-old woman got out of the vehicle, she was wearing only fish net stockings, a g-string and some sneakers. she's facing eight counts right now, including drunk driving, charges of fleeing to elude arrest as well. she didn't go quietly, it looks. the woman has entered a plea of not guilty. it's cold up there. capital one's new cash rewards card
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now for our one-minute playback. comedians blowing smoke at herman cain's ad. check out some parodies. >> government must get off our backs, out of our pockets and out of our way. ♪ i am america ♪ one voice united we stand ♪ >> i believe herman cain is the man to restore america's greatness. won't you join me? ♪ i am america ♪ one voice united we stand ♪ ♪ i am america ♪ one voice ♪ united we stand >> i'm herman cain. a prove cigarettes. if that doesn't make me sound crazy, check out this smile. yeah. 9-9-9! at aviva, we're bringing humanity back to insurance
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taking a look to the weather now where halloween celebrations in the northeast are receiving a wintery treat, or is is it a trick? snow in october. images from connecticut where white stuff started to fall yesterday. how much snow is on the way for all the folks in the northeast in nbc meteorologist bill karins has details. bill, i guess we're not ready for it. maybe it's typical. but we're not ready for it. >> you may not be but if people are looking out their window in pennsylvania and western maryland, you better be ready because it's falling hard in some locations. the storm has really blossoming right now and it's about to move up the coastline. let me show you the latest radar ravrd. the green on the map shows you where the rain is. heavy rain moving into long island, new york city over the top of philadelphia down through maryland, delaware, chesapeake. white is where it's snowing and it's snowing hard in central pennsylvania, also the mountains of west virginia, northern virginia and right now whole portion just outside of d.c. to the north of there in maryland around hagerstown reporting half mile visibility and 32 degrees.
incredible we're seeing a storm like this. this is the snow zone right now where the worst of the travel is. interstate 81 through northern virginia up through portion of maryland into southern pa, from hagerstown to altoona is getting heavy snow. state college, pennsylvania, where penn state will try to play a football game this afternoon, it is snowy hard right now. even just outside of pittsburgh, on interstate 70, unexpected, the notice is that far west but it's heavy there. morgantown northward is in the snow zone. as far as temperatures, you know where it's snowing the hardest, the blue circle, that's where it's below freezing. plenty warm in d.c., baltimore and philly and new york. that's why we're not worried about snow in those cities. you'll get a little on the back side, maybe a slushy inch or two but areas north and west much the big cities of the east coast that will get the bull's eye for this storm. let's talk about mid-atlantic region first. chesapeake, all-rain event for you. we may see snowflakes but not looking for any accumulation.
d.c., baltimore, philly to new york, a slushy inch. new york city just west of new york city, when you get to higher elevations, that's a different story. northwest jersey could pick up 6 to 12 inches. poconos could have a few spots above a first. harrisburg will be changing over to snow shortly and they should get a wet, heavy 5 inches of snow. if you stay with us on msnbc, you'll see jim canner to covered in snow by noon hour. where the bull's eye is later this afternoon into tonight is up through central new england, into northern new england. this is where you're not going to want to travel late tonight for any reason. manchester, as much as 10 inches of snow. springfield, 8. hartford, 8. through the cat skills, newberg, poughkeepsie could see over a foot of snow and is that will knock out a lot of power. not worried about high elevations. most of your leaves are gone. the valley floors, you get this much snow with leaves on the tree, we'll have a couple hundred, maybe a million people without power. it's a nasty day out there. from here on out, snow will be moving into many areas as rain
changes to snow. temps will be dropping. for everyone else in the rest the country, quiet, tranquil day. by the time we get to sunday, even that storm in the northeast is gone. bottom line, richard, right now there's a lot of heavy snow, interior sections of the mid-atlantic, heading up into new england. it's not advised to do a lot of traveling today in that area. >> yeah, you want to stay away from the airports, i bet w that stuff happening. appreciate if. new information this hour on the breaking news coming from afghanistan. we can now report that 13 americans died in a suicide attack on a nato vehicle today in kabul. the taliban have claimed responsibility for that car bombing. it was part of several other fatal attacks in afghanistan today. coming at the top of our next hour, a live report from kabul. later, general barry mccafferty on the implications of the latest attack. white house is ordering loendz to green companies as house republicans increase pressure over that loan to
solyndra that went belly up. joining kristin welker at the white house right now. is this basically a reaction to some pressure the white house looking into its own independent research here? >> reporter: it absolutely is. this the white house basically saying they are as concerned about a possible mismanagement of taxpayer dollars as congress is. of course, it comes with some risk because if this independent review shows there was mismanagement, that could be bad for the white house. but what they're hoping is that this will clear the air. so, here's what happened on friday. white house chief of staff bill daley announced this independent review and announced he was appointing herb allison, a former bush administration official and obama administration official to conduct this 60-day review. we want to make it clear. it's of the entire loan program. not just of that solyndra loan. he'll be looking into how these loans are carried out and making recommendations about the future, how it might be made
more efficient. here's what chief of staff bill daley said on friday when he made this announcement. he said the president is committed to investing in clean energy. while we continue to take steps to make sure the united states remains competitive in the 21st energy economy, we must also ensure we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars. this comes as house energy and commerce committee has said next week it will begin discussions about possibly issuing a subpoena of white house documents in the solyndra case. if it happens, it would be a real showdown between white house and congress. as you say, this goes back to that loan, that energy company given half billion dollar loan in taxpayer dollars. they filed for bankruptcy in august. in past weeks the white house has really come under the microscope under allegations it may have influenced the loan process to try to expedite the loan. the white house insists there is no wrongdoing.
>> that's just one of several dozen loans that were made. kristen welker at the white house for us. thank you so much. 37 minutes before the hour. here are your fast five headlines right now. fugitive son of the late libyan leader moammar gadhafi has reportedly held talks with an intermediary of the international criminal court about a potential surrender. saif al islam gadhafi is accused of killing civilians during the libyan uprising. australian kwquan tis is groundg all airlines as part of a dispute. they say the shutdown will cost $20 million a day. the so-called suicide machine in new york owned by lake jack kevorkian has been withdrawn from an auction. it didn't attract enough high bids. 17 donated paintings from kevorkian also did not sell. grammy winning grum sugarland held a free benefit concert last night in indianapolis. you might recall the group was about to perform at the indiana
state fair in august when the stage collapsed and killed seven people there. statue of liberty is now closed to visitors for up to a year of renovation work on the landmark's interior. the shutdown follows last night's big party to celebrate the 125th anniversary of lady liberty. alex witt is off today but "office politics" is not. we'll bring you brian williams, anchor of the "nbc nightly news," and a brand new show, too. alex got a sneak peek inside brian's new studio for his show "rock center" which premieres monday night on nbc. she talked to brian about the presidential debates and his role as moderator. >> you have already moderated one debate. you have another one slated to do. talk to me about how hard it is to keep the candidates in check. >> well, there are a number of things. moderating these debates is among the hardest things we're asked to do. i always say about television, don't confuse it with real work. but the stakes are very high on
debates. first of all, i believe in sequestration. on the day of these events, even in the days leading up, i don't allow myself to have a lot of contact with people. the campaigns will want to say, hey, can i have a second? but it is hard. there's not a question in the world you can design, and we have huge meetings of our political team. you think have you a question that's foolproof, no wiggle room in it. funny thing about people running for president, they've decided they're caliber enough to have top job in the country. they're pretty adept at this and they usually have a way out. some of them can say by sheer dent of their own power, i'm not going to answer that. >> the tenor between these candidates, how palpable is it, the tension? >> oh, it's it's palpable. look, it's a business. it's not a game. but it's a business. if they've gotten to this state of play, they're all grown-ups and they all realize that while, yes, this is for keeps, life on
the road is a terrible thing. and you only know it if you've done it. they're members of an exclusive club. you know, the ex-president's club is a fascinating bunch of folks. they've had public differences but they learn how to work together. most people, when the bell rings and it's over, i've seen them come together. the perry/romney tension has been palpable this time around. >> how critical do you think this debating process is in your mind and the fact that rick perry -- you've heard the reports, reported them yourself, he may be dropping out of further debates. >> i think they're critical. while there are too many of them, i think we can agree as taxpayers there are too many of them, all it takes is one moment. your concentration breaks. something gets in the way. you're tired. it can happen. and you make what can be a fatal error to your campaign. we've seen examples of it in national debates. and that's why they're so
fraught. that's why we all tune in at seemingly week after week and there's tension in the air. >> let's talk about where we are. first of all, in general, the new show "rock center," what can we expect from that? >> well, there will -- look, only so many models to compare it to in the news magazine business. there's "60 minutes," "dateline," "nightline" "real sports" on hbo and we'll borrow from all of them. we'll have as spets that you won't so oe other shows. we'll have guests stop by, have a conversation, right here where you're sitting, talking to me, we'll have news makers, bold face type types and we'll also have great story tellers. the best magazine quality, long form journalism on television. with this great all-star team that i keep comparing to the cooperstown of television. >> well, richard engel's going to syria.
how scary is that? >> i know, i know. harry smith is going to where the one place in this country where if you're chronically out of work, you're willing to relocate and be a motivated worker. they'll hire you. you can find work. in north dakota. >> that is a tease. >> yeah. >> how many people are going to stay tuned just for that? >> it's a great story. but that's -- you know, week after week, we hope to deliver that same thing. >> may i ask you about jimmy fallon, this special relationship the two of you have. >> special relationship? sounds like obama and cameron. slow jamming is fun. i'm the scult, the serious guy, the school marm, i'm hating on jimmy in some form. jimmy is trying to take it right up to the edge. i'm scowling right behind him. it's also great camera work, remember. it's called a rack focus when they start on jimmy, through to me, through to tariq. >> it works. >> the roots are a world class band. i can't believe they're in our same building and i work with roots. there's quest and tariq and
captain on lead guitar. it's amazing. >> always enjoying slow jams that are fun. we'll have more of the interview with brian williams later in our show, including details on why brian keeps his studio ice cold. we invite to you catch the premiere of "rock center" monday night at 10 p.m. eastern/9:00 central on your local nbc station. the president's pocketbook playbook in the battle for re-election. plus, a key witness in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. pointing a finger of blame not at conrad murray but at the king of pop himself. but will the jury buy that new accusation? coming up in today's number ones, the nation's best downtowns. don't go looking for the big apple on that list. sure wish you guys would bring layaway back.
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so-called become shell in involuntary manslaughter of michael jackson's personal physician. he says he thinks michael jackson injeked himself after an initial dose wore off. a world renowned propofol expert says michael jackson gave himself another sedative to help him sleep. joining me is lisa green. to the defense's case. not a big surprise, necessarily, right? >> no but this is what the defense needed to bolster it's case. and the prosecution saw it coming. clearly the most powerful witness the defense has put forth so far. >> what do you think is next then? how critical is that testimony? will they just work off each other or what's going on happen? >> it's really a battle of the dueling experts and the prosecution's expert and defense expert are colleagues. on monday what you'll hear is rigorous cross-examination of this bombshell witness. >> damaging or not damaging? >> in the end the prosecution has laid the groundwork for this to happen. what they're going to remind the jurors is that four witnesses testified that no matter what --
whether it was jackson who killed himself or murray who administered the fatal dose, it doesn't matter because murray standard of care did not live up to professional standards. therefore, he's culpable. >> that's one of the first step of the defense. what do they do next? >> what defense does next, this is their final witness. murray is not going to testify. they saved the best for last. >> and so how does this fit into the largest strategy? >> it fit into the large her strategy of the defense trying to blame anyone but murray. of course, the prosecution koirnting by saying let's focus intently on the murray/jackson relationship and just conclude, as they have through numerous witnesses that murray standard of care didn't live up. >> not to put you under the microscope here, but how does it look? how did thebolsterred their case on friday but they haven't addressed that standard of care issue and that's problematic. >> thanks much. in a moment president obama's new economic initiative. are they enough to help those voting with their pocketbook to re-elect them. the white house gets all
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president obama is making good on his populous message. he says if congress won't act on jobs, he will. a new proposal to reduce monthly student loan payments and match veterans with jobs in health care. >> we can no longer wait for congress to do its job. the middle class families are tired of waiting. they need help now. >> i'm joined by democratic congressman joe sestak of pennsylvania. congressman, thanks for being with us.
>> it's good to be with you, richard. >> why now? why not do it earlier? >> you're absolutely right. i don't disagree with that. i was out there in york county in pennsylvania and i don't care if you're democratic, republican, or independent. there is outrage right now throughout america. they have lost faith in the government, trust in their leaders. and what i think they most don't like is when leaders seem to take action for their own political action, survive built is their way of life. >> congressman for political reasons? >> i think his heart is in it. i think he believes in these policies. but he sees the white house through you a audacity. i think that's why you see
americans, whether it's the tea party or the occupy wall streeters believing, actually knowing that no one seems to have a plan. so the broad challenges that they confront, on the republican side, they are hop scotching from one nominee to the other. the president has a real challenge right now and i think it's a justifiable challenge. >> how many in the democratic ranks share this anger, if you will, for this late movement that the president has put out there? >> i don't know if it's anger. i think on the whole it's disappointment. that's because those on the democratic side really strongly know. it's the powerful and the connected that seem make out well over a period of time over the last decade when everyone else knows that the ranks are shrinking. we have had our own tea party supporting the president when he went in.
look, you said it, i ran in pennsylvania. i did it because i was disapr disappointed on down that the president would try to effect something. and congress, rather than using the power of people to effect the transformation, it's more of a disappointment. i think he's got the right policies. i think there's things that we've got to do. but they are looking for strong leadership right now that is willing to be held accountable. >> and in your state, too, what do you think of this piecemeal approach of the president trying to get these things done. in key states, like ohio and swing states here? >> look, i think, as someone else says, this approach is one out of the '96 playbook of president clinton. i think that time has passed. right now this is not another political season. the dna has changed out there throughout america. this is where americans know
we're at a cross roads and this piecemeal approach, it's interesting to get you some headlines, what they want to know is, do you, mr. president, know me? not that i know you and your policies? and are you willing to be held accountable? losing your job over what we need. that sense of ownership, like a captain of a ship, where you know if it goes aground, he's held accountable, is what they want in a leader. and that's not what we've seen across the spectrum of what is out there today. >> congressman joe sestak. also a pleasure. >> great to be with you. still ahead, who are the people who write to president obama and what does the president write back? a new book reveals a personal snapshot. a look at what the president does and we'll speak to the author in just a bit here on "weekends with alex witt." from idea to research to trade. including financials, indicators and real-time streaming quotes. whether you check your investments every day
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kabul. a live report from afghanistan on an attack apparently aimed at u.s. troops. and an october snowstorm is on its way and it's arrived. the places to get hit hardest this weekend. and getting help from where he least expected. a house of free falling governors could be the key to the president's re-election. and why one bank is having second thoughts about its debit card fees. welcome. alex is off and i'm richard lui. breaking news out of afghanistan. a car bomb has killed 13 americans. we're just moving in on 6:00 p.m. there. what's the latest? >> reporter: what we do know is that a senior u.s. official has been killed when a car bomber attacked the convoy that they were driving. they were on a road in the west of the capital of kabul. it's an area that many nato
vehicles drive ongoing from one base to another. it's been an area that has been targeted before. last year in 2010, five americans and one canadian were killed on that same road near the same place that was attacked today. 13 americans killed. four afghans, three civilians, and one afghan police officer in the same attack. but that's not the only thing that happened in afghanistan today. in southern afghanistan, three australian service members were also killed when an afghan wearing a security uniform turned around and shot them. they were killed with their afghan interpret tret ter, too. >> also uncommon here, atia, is there was a woman suicide bomber? >> reporter: exactly. that actually happened in eastern afghanistan. that's a third incident that took place. no nato service members were killed except for the bomber
herself. she hid the explosives underneath her burqa. they picked up their weapon to shoot at her and she detonated her explosives, luckily not killing anyone but herself. this is very uncommon in afghanistan. we've seen these attacks in iraq in the past but not here in afghanistan. this is something unusual. we have seen it happen maybe once or twice before. what's interesting is the last time that we've seen this happen, it happened in the same province. kunar province in borders pakistan. >> just after sunset, a deadly day there in afghanistan, atia live for us in about 30 minutes we'll be visited by general mccafferty to talk about this. a big surprise across the northeast, the white stuff is
already falling. here are some shots around massachusetts. the worst is yet to come. you can see the flakes. the same could be said for connecticut. several inches likely there within the next 24 hours and within the next hour, the snow started falling hard in pennsylvania. the footage was shot here in harrisburg, pennsylvania. bill karins has the latest for us. hey, bill. >> yeah, bad travel day. this is an historic event because it's so early in the season. the fact that this is october and we have a lot of leaves on the trees, the big question is, how many power outages are we going to get? we could get millions or a couple hundred thousand. right now, warnings go all the way from maine through new hampshire. areas in white are under winter weather advisories, including pittsburgh, new york city, philadelphia, and the d.c. area. winds are starting to pick up. notice that they are out of the north and northeast.
it's that north wind that is very cold. it's going to fuel the snowfall amounts. philadelphia, to new york, you're in the green. your best chance of snow is in green. it's snowing hard in central pennsylvania. the pittsburgh area, we've gotten pictures out of there with the snow falling. the mountainous areas, up from washington, d.c., into maryland. heavy, wet snow. here's the timing, the blue on this map, keep your eye on that, by 4:00, notice philly and new york, still no snow for you. snowing hard in central pennsylvania. the cat skills and southern new york get into the heavy snow. by 9:00, we see the snow in philly, new york city, hartford changes over to snow, too. cat skills and then moving across the berkshires.
it's a fast-moving storm. it's completely over by 2:00 a.m. the heaviest at 2:00 a.m. is right through new hampshire and then by the time we get to 9:00 a.m., all of new england is clear of the storm. a sunny, dry day tomorrow. how much snow are we talking about? not much from philly to d.c. and baltimore. and then the heart of the storm is right over the poconos and cat skills. possibility of a foot of snow. albany, manchester, maine, that's who is going to have to shovel. the big question s. how big are the power outages going to be? a lot of the areas have lost their power. >> kristen is at the white house you can see her breath there. we'll have a live report from jim cantore in pennsylvania. herman cain is on a two-day
tour in alabama. new reports of cain responding to a staff memo. that saying that he set a policy for members of cain's campaign who travel with him in a car. the policy, don't talk to the candidate unless he talks to you first. >> if i'm trying to prepare for a speech, i do tell people to shut up. if i'm preparing for a speech or preparing for a debate, they know, you know, be quiet because i'm trying to get my thoughts together. so, you know, whoever said that, that's the truth about -- this is how i prepare. >> well, mitt romney took his message to new hampshire. he blamed the economy under president obama and the occupy wall street protest. romney accused obama for dividing american and a development that the candidate calls dangerous. >> right now the government is spending our federal government, about 25% of the economy.
25% of the gdp. we're borrowing about 40 cents of every dollar we spend. that's inexcusable and immoral. and that's what is going on. >> rick perry spent time in new hampshire yesterday. he talks to reporters about whether or not he will take part in future republican debates. >> i don't know whether or not we're going to forego any debates or not. there's going to be a lot of debates. shoot, i may get to be a good debater before this is all over with. so, you know, we haven't made any decisions of what we're going to do. >>ing some fun at himself. >> michele bachmann and rick santorum are in iowa. as republican candidates continue to rally for the nomination, president obama is pushing out his agenda for the jobs bill without the help from congress. the tactical shift by the white house to focus on executive
action. democrats are quick to point out, con -- congressman joe sestak is not happy with the timing. republicans say you should let it get through congress to get it done. political gain of the president? >> it's neither. it's a reaction to what he says is a do nothing congress. he's gone big and tried to push through many legislative accomplishments and his jobs bill did not work. he has to do something and he just wants to show this image of him trying hard to get something done. so if he does get some of these things done, then, yes, it's political gain. he looks like he's doing something. >> let's look at the gop field that may look at some of that against him later on at least. how is he doing now? rick perry poking fun at
himself. >> he hasn't decided yet because, as you know, he has stumbled during some of those debates. it's not his best forum. but i've seen him on his stump and he's much better when he's giving a campaign speech and firing up a crowd. as the media turns to more of that, he might do better there. and if he can avoid some tough campaign -- some tough debate performances with good campaign appearances, why not? >> and it has been a cramped debate season for them. they might want to do some other things, like raise money along the way. >> right. >> herman cain out there, he had a tough week, having to do with some issues about chaos in his campaign in a "new york times" article. it paints him as not being so folksy with staffers and maybe not so organized. what do you sni. >> he hasn't been organized throughout the entire campaign. and yet he's still been climbing
and climbing in the polls. so it's really not hurting him. i don't know if it's been that bad of a week for him. he had a goofy web commercial out and it's increased the chatter and getting him more attention. so, yeah, there's confusion there but mitt romney is running the most organized campaign and yet herman cain is beating the primary. is it that bad of a week for him? i'm not sure. >> so there's a bit of a bad week for romney. he had unforced air, at least when it came to taking a position on ohio's union fight. he said he would not take a position early on and then later on he said he's 110% behind it. >> well, he also said just yesterday that he's not sure what is behind global warming and i was with him in new hampshire covering him in june right after he announced his campaign and he said he thought global warming was, you know, caused by -- >> shouldn't it be solidified in terms of the campaign reform? >> you would think.
but romney has developed an identity as a flip-flopper. >> yeah. >> and what is interesting, richard, i haven't seen much push back from the romney campaign other otherwise trying to dismantle this which has taken hold that he's a flip flomer and george, who is a conservative columnist has said this is a problem. this flip-flopping that he's done and he's only made it worse this week. >> erin, thanks. we'll have more politics of course all throughout this hour. thank you again. later this hour, we'll hear from democratic presidential nominee howard dean at 10:30 p.m. eastern on msnbc. another turn in the missing baby lisa irwin case. cindy short issued a statement on friday but did not
immediately respond to why she is no longer representing the family. deborah bradley reported their 10-month-old daughter missing on october 4th. police still have no suspects in that. let's turn to the three big money headlines for you. bank fee backlash, walmart's copycat savings air airfares. >> it's definitely a win for conservatives for what is going on. people express their outrage and some of the banks and wells fargo, said that they were going to, bank of america has not yet decided to eliminate these fees but they are saying that there are ways around them.
you can use direct deposit, barveg of america to pay these fees or maintain a certain balance. they may actually go ahead and lower that. we're not sure. the backlash has worked. the amendment has worked. >> wal-mart adding a new pricing strategy. they are having a price match. >> yes. starting on monday they are going to offer this great price matching strategy where if you buy something from walmart, either in the stores or online and later find out that, for example, a competitor has it for less, they are going to issue you a gift card and refund you the dirns. go into walmart with your original reset and with a print ad from the competitor. >> and airfares? >> they are on the rise. they are going to be 6% higher for thanksgiving travel. expected to be 10% higher for holiday travel and on top of,
that of course, you have the ancillary fees. it's going to be pretty expensive. they are doing this because they can. it's all about supply and demand. supply is limited and demand is up. you have 24 people flying over thanksgiving and christmas alone. fly at odd ball times, oral turn tif airports or stay home. >> hitchhiker. >> thank you. signs of hope in the economy. a stunning revelation from facebook about how many hackers try to break into accounts each and every day. lindsay lohan and word this week of her going the full monty. and it helps our economy. okay, i'm listening. [announcer] at conoco phillips we're helping power america's economy with cleaner affordable natural gas...
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shovels might be needed today and there is going to be kwilt a lot of snow. jim cantore is in pennsylvania. >> reporter: it's coming on down. we had waffle-size flaking coming down. the atmosphere is cooling because of this snow. the flakes are getting smaller and smaller. it's still coming down very intense. this is just unprecedented. the record snowfall in harrisburg is 2.1 for october. we could quadruple that before all is said and done. here's going to be the biggest problem. you can see this oak tree here where we're getting the snow sticking on the leaves and look at this leaf, it's almost bending straight over. the snow is sticking any way.
once we get to four inches, five inches, that's where we'll see some of the lines come down. the roads are looking pretty good. cars will come by and there will be snow on them. it's the higher elevations that are getting the most snow right now. kind of nights seeing the capital here in pennsylvania. all dressed up in a blanket of white. i don't think anybody wanted that to be before december. we're having december here in october. the problem is, there are so many leaves on the trees like we have behind us and that means we are going to have many, many thousands of people with power outages by the time we get to tonight. >> thank you very much, jim cantore. the nation's gdp grew at a 2.5% in the last month. nearly double from the last quarter.
robert is washington bureau chief for comcast. kristin is a democratic strategist and msnbc contributor as well. crystal, good morning. >> good morning, richard. >> robert, if the numbers look good and continue to look good for the next year, what does this mean for the campaign and presidential election? >> first, let's say that the numbers hope to continue in a good direction because 9.1% unemployment is obviously unacceptable. to your point, richard, every single presidential election since 1960 has always been about the economy. if the economy is not doing well, the incumbent president is joining for re-election, obviously it's vulnerable. if in fact the economy continues to improve, it makes it hard for the republicans to make the argument that they are not part of the economy. the real question is whether or not you're better off today than four years ago. up until now, that has not been the case. more and more americans are feeling that they are not as good off.
that changes the overall what republicans have to say. >> let's launch off that, crystal. if it does turn out to be a good upswing in the economy a. good down 12, 13,000, perhaps, will that take the wind out of the a sail of republicans? >> yeah. and it's do we have a sense that things are getting better? is the president able to build a narrative that he's really trying to do everything that he can for the kmeconomy and it's having some impact. one thing that is going to happen is that in the hands of leaders in europe. >> is that the real metric? >> yes. a lot of people out here are unemployed and you have even more people underemployed,
living paycheck to paycheck. if that narrative does not change between now and this time next year, the president is still very, very vulnerable because people feel like things are not getting better for them. that's the real question. whether or not republicans can cease that moment and win the white house based on that. >> crystal, president obama issuing several executive orders recently. there is reaction from house speaker john boehner. take a look at this. >> i thought that we were a nation of laws and that our country was governed by our constitution. this idea that you're going to go around the congress is just -- it's almost laughable. >> so, crystal, if this were a republican president issuing executive actions as well, wouldn't it also be okay if they thought it would help the country? >> well, i think john boehner was quite silent while george bush was issuing many, many more orders than this president has ordered. very reminiscent of what bill
clinton did in 1996, he issued a lot of executive orders, things that he could do to prove to voters that he was a divisive leader and working on their behalf. and, again, the president honestly wants the economy to improve and say i'm doing everything that i can and this republican congress is doing everything that i can to stand in my step. >> president obama doing this, basically it leaves it in his court. >> every president has issued executive orders. president obama is no different. they have done it to their favor. the question is whether or not people at the end of the day feel like he is doing everything that he possibly can to win re-election. the executive orders don't matter for the rank and file if they don't feel that the economy is improving between this time and next time this year. >> crystal and robert, thank
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or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business. it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $7.8 billion to small businesses across the country so far this year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm richard lui.
alex is off today. in afghanistan, 13 americans were killed in a car suicide attack. joining me from washington is general mccafferty. there are a hantdful of women including a woman suicide bomber in all of this. this is prior to the big conference coming up from the taliban. what do you make of this? >> of course, there is a lot of fighting going on in fighting going on. very stiff battles, particularly for military police, both marine and army and special ops. having said that, we put the hakani network and the taliban under huge pressure. i think the larger thing that
we're talking about, given this sad day, is going forward, with withdrawal of the 30,000 troops by this summer with three international conferences about to happen with the future of afghanistan, what will be outcome politically? can we create a stable government given the disaster of karzai and his corrupt government. so it's a real challenge to us. >> general, when we look at a new report and new information coming out of the pentagon, it showed that over the summer we've seen a drop in violence and yet we're seeing an uptick here. americans may be saying, we hear this, we just got to get out of there. what is your thought? >> we have a problem. two-thirds of the american people do not support continue being in afghanistan. 600, 700 killed per month and our allies are leaving.
general allen marine four star is doing extremely well. we have the best ambassador, ryan crocker there. in a narrow sense, it's going all right. given the withdrawl, 30,000 troops out by 2013, can we pull this off, that's the question. >> so is the situation getting better or worse? we have the pentagon who says it's better than the previous five years and then a u.n. report that says casualties and violent episodes increased 9% recently. which way are we going? >> well, i think you have the akon knee network and everyone is playing the odds, what will happen when the americans come out? the president said, and politically i think he was correct, we're going to draw down by 2013 and he was talking to the karzai government.
there's a bunch of accommodations going on trying to sort out what do we do, including the pakistani government. what do we do when the americans are gone? we have to stay here and live here. that's the dialogue that we haven't sorted out. so i think the military situation is pretty darn good. we have 100,000 of the best troops in the country's history on the ground. they have put pressure on the taliban and the hakani network under unbelievable velocity. but this is the winter in afghanistan. when the spring rolls around, what will the situation be particularly in the south, the can d kandahar? it doesn't look very optimistic to me. >> a sad day, 13 americans killed in attacks today. general mccaffrey, thank you
very much. a swing state for 2012, ohio, obama is leading at 45%. but a poll of 52% of voters disapprove of governor john kasich. and only a third approve of the job that governor scott is doing. let's bring informer presidential candidate howard dean, who served as governor of vermont and chairman of the dnc. how is this going to help the president come 2012? >> it definitely is going to help the president. it's a branding issue. wisconsin, ohio, to a lesser extent, michigan, ohio, these are all critical states and it's where republicans went in there, stripped out people's bargaining rights and laid off a binch
bunch of public employees. i think we're going to get a huge boost in the critical states because the republican brand has been deeply tarnished by the far right governors. >> so it's showing that politics is local, at least in these two cases. are there other weak states, other weak points that the democrats, that the president may take advantage of here? >> i think those are the big ones. the midwest is where there is a lot of problems with jobs. the republicans went in there and said, if you give tax cuts to rich people and fire all of these union workers, things will getter. and they got worse. the union workers are neighbors and a lot of union households voted in the 2012 election. i think they have a big problem in the midwest and can't make it go away because they are not going to get suddenly popular in the next year. >> there may be some ruboff. which is more important? florida or ohio for the president to win? >> they are both very important. if the president wins in ohio, it's game over. he wins the presidency for
another four years. but florida is very important. he did a great job. hardest state in the union to come pain because it's so complex and we have a great chance there. i think we have a great shot at winning them both. if that happens you can count plt obama to be re-elected. >> but, governor, having run a state before, does this balance out somehow or does it wash each other out gaus the governor, if it's a republican goompb nor, they control the political machine across the state. therefore, even though they have lower approval ratings, how does that come together here? >> the political machines matter. barack obama would not be president of the united states if it was not for his extraordinary campaign. but 37% of approval, 52% disapproval, that's very hard to do. you may see somewhat of a wave election again in some states slashing back and forth their democrats got a big boost in '06 and '08. republicans came back strong in
2008. >> what about virginia? >> well, that's an interesting one. bob mcdon nel has decent ratings. the problem in virginia is a different one. the far right rhetoric, especially in the presidential debates on immigration is going to kill them. immigrants are very successful entrepreneurs there. they are not going to vote republican no matter how much they may like bob mcdonnell. because putting up an electric fence is not the way to endure yourself to people that came recently to this country. i think we have bets with republican friends of mine on virginia. the polling number is not great in virginia. i think president obama wins with the tide water and huge turnout of liberal entrepreneurs and so forth, immigrants and so forth in northern virginia. >> interesting for us to talk about here. congressman, thank you so much. >> thanks for having me on. >> you bet.
watch "meet the press" tomorrow with david gregory. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." check your local listings for that. dear mr. president. a look at the letters sent every day to mr. obama and his responses to many of them. including some checks. the occupy wall street movement and why he keeps his new studio so cold. having triplets is such a blessing. not financially. so we switched to the bargain detergent, but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks, honey. yeah. you suck at folding. [ laughs ] [ female announcer ] just one cap of tide plus bleach gives you more cleaning power than six caps of the bargain brand. visit facebook.com/tide to learn about special offers.
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joined now by john palmer, he's host of "primary issues." john, thanks for being here with us. how is the political climate here? how does the carter re-election loss compared to what president obama may be going through next year? >> richard, nice to meet you. i think there are comparisons that could be made for our four hours of television, we've interviewed dozens of people about how people 50 years and older, and that's a huge section of voters, how they view the congress, the presidency, how they view the various issues, social security and medicare. things of that sort. the primary issues there. and this vote is very important. it's not a block vote. i think that's a miss conception that people think that because they are 65 years and older, they care about medicare, they
care about social security. of course they do. but there are other, other issues from conservative to libertarian, liberal, and what have you. so i think they are comparisons here and i think the vote, the senior vote is going to be particularly important this time around, especially for obama, and may well be the deciders, as it were, as to who wins the election. >> but not a block vote. you covered a lot of different elections here when we cover what you've done over the years. will you note from your coverage that this time around there's no third party candidate that carter and george h.w. bush faced. >> right. a number of people that we talked to expressed a desire for a third-party candidate. at the same time, most agreed that the cards are stacked against us with our political system and they don't think that this is going to happen. if ross perot several years ago couldn't do it, they don't think
that's going to happen. there's a feeling, really, of disgust with the congress. there's an anger out there that we detected in talking to all of these people and it's -- kind of one person said -- a play on both of your houses, republicans and democrat. they complained very much about the situation. there was one, richard, couple i'll never forget. beautiful, fall day in the mall in washington. they came over to our camera, they are in their late '60s a l 60s and their savings is just wrecked and they had to go back to work. they don't know how long they will have to work. these are people that are going to be determining a lot about the outcome of this election. >> all right. we have a couple of seconds here, john. can you tell us a little bit about your new show? >> yeah. it's four one-hour programs and
it's on retirement living. it starts halloween night and then the following tuesday and wednesday and the final of those four hours is on november the 8th and my co-hosts are sam donaldson and coke key roberts and i think it's an interesting to look at this very large growing dynamic of voters 50 and above and how they look at the situation. not that much different but there was some sur price surprises there, too. >> john palmer, real pleasure to speak with you this morning. >> thank you. it's a pleasure. >> you bet. the statue of liberty is closed. the $26 million project will add fireproof staircases and this comes as the lady liberty turns 125 years old. 125 people from 46 countries
took the oath of citizens ship in a ceremony in front of the copper-covered statue. puss and boots in 3-d. look at this. >> hidden for centuries guarded by a castle in the sky whoever finds this treasurer will be given riches beyond imagination. let's get the details now from pop goes the wheat. "puss in boots," would you see it? >> yes, especially if you liked shrek. do you want 90 minute fs where your kids are leaving you alone? absolutely. they spent about $130 million to make this film and the animation is incredible. 3-d, if you're a fan of 3-d,
it's magnificent. good movie. >> and another movie "in time" starring justin timberlake, let's take a look. >> are you okay to drive? >> what's their to know? >> i really want to like it. the premise is people stop aging at 25 and then have one year left. then they redeem their life to get a cup of coffee. why exactly? it's a great-looking cast. apparently everyone in the future is gorgeous. if you're looking for something that will leave a few question marks and sometimes that happens, go for it. but i would say avoid it. wait for the rental. >> it looks right there from the trail. let's talk about lindsay lohan. >> she apparently accepted $1
million to be in "playboy." this is more sad than anything. we have a woman at her all-time low, reported drug user and hopefully recovering. let's put her on page 57. this oh to me is sad. and, p.s., she's never looked worse. you want to dip in kurel before touching her. am i going to say check out the naked pictures of lindsay lohan. >> but does she need the money? >> absolutely she needs the money. she said she would never do a nude scene. look at her now. she could never get in a children's movie now. yes, she needs the money. the reason she was overseas because she was working overseas because she can't get work in the u.s. to me this is sad. this is a woman at a real low. >> tough times for her perhaps. thanks again, brian. always great to see you. >> thank you. letters to the white house.
letters sent to the president and personal responses too, and personal checks that he sent to some of them getting twice the points on great vacations. whoa! use chase sapphire preferred and now get two times the points on travel, and two times the points on dining and no foreign transaction fees. whoa! chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color. apply now at chasesapphire.com/preferred that's why i recommend crest pro-health clinical gum protection. it helps eliminate plaque at the gum line, helping prevent gingivitis. it's even clinically proven to help reverse it in just 4 weeks. crest pro-health clinical gum protection.
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live aability downtown, is it indianapolis, minneapolis, winston salem, north carolina is on that list, burlington, vermont, and san antonio, texas. new york did not make that list. a new book offering insights into letters sent to the president. ten letters reports that president obama reads ten letters every night and personally answers one or two of them. joining me now is the author of "ten letters," a national political reporter.
i was reading your article. it's really fascinating here. i think one of the more interesting things that you noted is that he actually writes personal checks to some of these people? >> yeah, he does. some of these letters -- they read like journal entries. they are so personal and so immediate and so searing that he feels compelled to respond in some way and one of the things that the president has told me is that since he's been in office the act of governing can be so slow that he feels like his only recourse to help some of these people is to make a phone call or even writing a check. i think it's great that he feels that kind of empathy. it's also a little bit of a condemnation of the way that government is working. that the most powerful politician feels like that's his best response. >> do you know how much he's written these checks for? >> i don't know. he was very cagey about the details. i think he knows his salary would go very quickly if the details became available. >> one woman didn't receive a lett
-- she received a letter from the president and then sold it for $7,000. january cline is that person. tell us about that. >> it was honestly fairly typical. she lives in michigan. she had lost her job, her husband had lost his job, their house had been foreclosed on, she had just been diagnosed with cancer and she wrote the president about what her life was like in 2010 when the economy was collapsing. he wrote a handwritten note saying it's people like you that make this country work. things will get better. the truth is, things didn't get better for jen and her family until eventually she went and drove to new york, found an autographed dealer who was willing to pay $7,000 for this letter that she could use to pay off her medical bills and use that to put a downpayment on a house. >> some of those letters, you write in your article, they start to get, shall we say, not positive, things like, dear moron or deer socialist. i'm pulling right from your
article here. and you know that that might be actually affecting the president is that he feels he's not as connected as he would like to be. >> yeah. a president can be so remote now from the people in the country, based on security and scheduling concerns. it's hard to have the honest direct interactions with people in the country. that's why it's become a fex tur of his daily routine. he reads ten every night and talks about them in his speeches. sometimes they have influenced his policies. they are really a big part of what he's doing because they are what he calls his only direct connection to people out in the country. >> all right. showing some of the roots as a community organizer, as you note there. and then wanting to reach out even more but he can't. eli, very interesting stuff. eli with a great book and great article. appreciate it. >> thanks. thanks for having me on. the story that may have you reaching for a shovel instead of
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delivering mail, medicine and packages. yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service, and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains 5 billion a year from post-office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. congress created this problem, and congress can fix it.
u.s. forces under attack again in afghanistan. the consequences are deadly. also, re-election hopes and the economy. and october surprise. mother nature's cool trick that threatens records and knocking out power. and then later, the stunning forecast for you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm richard lui. it's 11:00 in the east and 8:00 in the west. breaking news in afghanistan in the capital of kabul.
a nato vehicle carrying americans. atia, what's the latest on this story as it has developed? >> reporter: good morning, richard. what we do know is that a car bomber actually attacked a u.s. convoy heading down the road here in the capital of kabul. the car bomber was able to hit an armoured bus carrying the u.s. service members within that vehicle, killing 13 of them as well as killing four afghans, three civilians and an afghan police officer in the area. the taliban quickly claimed responsibility sending text messages to various organizations including nbc, claiming that they killed 16 foreigners, but they may have been including the afghan numbers within their figures we saw two other attacks, one occurring in the southern part of the country, where afghan security member turned his
weapon on nato officers and killed an afghan interpreter and then a female hiding exclusives underneath her burka detonating explosives. in the end, only the bomber herself was killed. richard? >> has the attack on u.s. forces been increasing? this past summer we saw a downturn. >> reporter: well, that's an interesting question because i went to a briefing a couple of weeks ago and they were talking about the decrease and when you look at 2008 through the middle 2011, when you look at the violence, for the first time it started to decrease in the last
several months. this was a spectacular attack t killed a lot of nato service members. but the last time we saw it in september where they killed afghan civilians during that attack, too. by it's interesting because it has been decreasing and right now we may be seeing this because they want to make sure that they are still around. now to the other big story, snow in the northeast. in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, snow is falling.
how much? bill karins is following that for us. >> power is starting to go out in areas of pennsylvania and other areas. 25,000 of them in southern portions of pennsylvania. allegheny power reporting. because the heavy, wet snow has been falling for three hours. all it takes is for the snow to cover the tree limits and until new jersey it's heading there. as far as the new jersey area goes, no problems there but as you go interior, northern portions of jersey, that's where we see the worst of it. eventually the mess will head into new england, hartford should get nailed and also around boston philadelphia, mostly rain for you. we have snow throughout the afternoon. only expecting a couple of inches. washington, d.c., same thing for
you. a little bit of snow is on the backside of this storm system. as far as the storm goes, it's on track. we still expect the areas away from the big cities to see the worst of it. poconos and catskills have the best chance for seeing a snow amount. northern new england down to central new england, bulls eye is southern new york and new jersey, some areas could get easily a foot. and the coastal areas will end with a storm. the power outages is what we will be watching. >> october, ending with light stuff for us there. >> yep. >> thanks, bill. also watching the story for us in harrisburg, pennsylvania, is jim cantore. you have more snow on your hat. >> reporter: yeah, it's just accumulating. silver dollars, waffle-size s w
snowflakes. probably half an inch to an inch accumulation. what we're anticipating, especially through here, anywhere from four to six inches and the limbs are going to start snapping. power outages in western pennsylvania. it's going to be higher as it gets metal on it. we're starting to see snow accumulating on the roads because it's coming down at a rate of one to one and a half inches an hour. once we get into these rates, it's going to cool the entire column of area. so here in harrisburg we've gone from 39 degrees to 33 degrees. once we get down to 31, that's when it's going to be miserable on these roads. even here at 400 feet. so elevations to the west of us are having problems through there. so far, no closures, from what we've heard. again, look at these trees. green, fully leafed out in through here. this is going to be the big
story. it's not if, it's when. so for parts of new england, what irene didn't take down, unfortunately, i think this freak october snowstorm is going to. >> jim cantore, thank you. for the latest weather headlines, go to weather.com. police have been arresting occupy protests for the last two nights. in oakland, california, protesters are setting up tents again. several battles between the police and the protesters. scott olson's condition has been upgraded to fair and is said to be awake and greeting his mother with a smile. another big twist in the case of baby lisa, who has been missing for three weeks now. let's go to alison. what's the turn in the case that you're seeing? >> reporter: richard, late last
night the private investigator working with the family of baby lisa picked them up at the grandmother's house where they had been staying and took them to an undisclosed location. and a case involving the attorneys, conflict between strategies and all of the tension around this case, one of the attorneys that had been representing the family has left the case. it's been almost a month since baby lisa's parents r parents say that she vanished in the night and police investigators say it's imperative that they have an opportunity to reinterview lisa's two young step brothers to further the investigation. the 5 and 8-year-old boys were to be questioned by a forensic interviewer on friday about what they saw and heard on the night of october 4th, when lisa disappeared. but late thursday, the
interviews were canceled by the parents' attorney. deborah and bradley irwin had been represented by cindy short from kansas city. >> when you have unfair and false impressions that leads to the villainy of a particular person, this is what leads to wrongful convictions and this is why i got into this case, to prevent that. >> reporter: and new york lawyer, bill pakatini. >> the focus on this case is finding lisa. we're optimistic that she's still out there and still alive and the family prays for her return -- her speedy return. >> reporter: on friday with no explanation given, cyndy short has confirmed she is no longer working with the family of lisa irwin as their counsel. the only other news comes from a quote that she gave the kansas city stars, where she expressed concerns about allowing the
brothers to be interviewed. i've done research it won't happen tomorrow and maybe never. this statement now conflicts with what pakatina has told local law enforcement. police told nbc news that he plans to reschedule interviews with the boys as early as next week. police remain tight-lipped about the investigation with no new searches planned for the immediate future. pakatina has been paid for -- his services have been paid for by an anonymous benefactor. we are going to have to see if he will get help with the investigators in the coming weeks. richard? >> alison, thank you so much. heading to the campaign trail in just a moment when her man campaign will clarify when people can talk to him or not. and will he or won't he?
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traveling with them. the policy, don't talk to him unless he talks to you. here is cain in alabama responding to that report. >> if i'm trying to prepare for a speech, i do tell people to shut up. if i'm preparing for a speech or preparing for a debate, they know, you know, be quiet because i'm trying to get my thoughts together. so, you know, whoever said that, that's the truth about what -- this is how i prepare. >> meanwhile, mitt romney has been meeting with voters in new hampshire and he's focusing on the economy. >> right now the government is spending our federal government, about 25% of the economy. 25% of the gdp. we're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. i think that's simply inexcusable and immoral. and that's what is going on back here. >> rick perry answered questions about his fall in the poll and whether he will participate in future gop debates. >> i don't know whether or not we're going to forego any
debates or not. there's going to be a lot of debates. shoot, i may get to be a good debater before this is all over with. so, you know, we haven't made any decisions about what we're going to do. >> as for the other gop candidates, michele bachmann, rick santorum, all in iowa. well, two big signs that the economy may be on the rebound, gdp grew 2.5% in the third quarter. the dow ended the week with a 3.4% gain. what does this all mean for the white house and the race for the white house? joining me now is nbc news presidential historian, michael. thank you for being here to give us your perspective. throughout history, how much has the economy reflected on the presidency and the president? >> well, in recent years the americans have given the president more blame or credit for the economy that they
deserve because a lot of things affect an economy. a president does, but so does congress and productivity and ix turn nal economic trends. but in 1945 when world war ii ended, there was essentially a world monopoly. so for 25 years, the economy was terrific and presidents were delighted to take the credit. americans got in the hab pit of that. so in recent years i think the americans give presidents a little too much credit or blame for the way that the economy is doing. >> you allude to this current period where people call the great desession depression. in one sense here, michael, familiarity with a leader, does it help reassure voters over time? >> well, in 1936 the unemployment rate was still huge
and the fdr was trying and i think i know his values and will do the right thing. but this is probably something that we'll see from the obama campaign, roosevelt said, you may not like everything that i'm doing about the economy but my opponent wants to take us back to the days of her bert hoover who got us to this position. >> does the report not like to change leaders midstream just like we're at war? >> i think oi pan ier it doesn't like to change horses in the middle of a war. if it's a war that is big and unpopular. world war ii. but not 2004, 50,000 votes the other way in ohio. george w. bush would have lost that war and a financial crisis
is very different. if people are angry about a bad economy and think the president is to blame, he goes. ask jimmy carter in 1980 and ask george h.w. bush in 1982. >> there is an article about president obama rolling out a number of executive orders dealing with housing, tuition, and hiring ininsensitives. these are many issues that americans care about. how do you draw a comparison there? are there any similarities? >> i think there are many similarities. obama is to say perhaps i'm frustrated in congress but i'm going to do all sorts of things. certainly to improve people's lives but also to position me at the center of american values against the republican opponent next time i think that's very much what the obama people are
doing and they are taking that directly from bill clinton. >> bill clinton, jimmy carter, george h.w. bush, fdr, which of those presidents can president obama learn most from as he looks towards 2012 and fixing the economy and getting voters to vote for him? >> well, probably from everyone. but i think perhaps most of all from bill clinton because he operated in an atmosphere that was most similar to ours. it was only, what, 15 years ago. and also clinton started from a point after that 1994 election when he lost congress when people were writing him off saying that he had very little chance to get re-elected, although not because of the economy, which was actually beginning to do fairly well. the biggest thing that barack obama can hope for, which is obvious from his point of view, he hopes that this economy gets a lot better. >> great to see you. thank you. michael on this saturday for us. still ahead, fact or fiction? we put michele bachmann to the
test. plus, zombies in america. scaring up big spending. those first young men. the pioneers. the aviators. building superhighways in an unknown sky. their safety systems built of brain and heart, transforming strange names from tall tales into pictures on postcards home. and the ones who followed them, who skimmed the edge of space, the edge of heaven, the edge of dreams. and we follow them up there
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new behind the scenes footage of preparations at the white house. the pastry kitchen is preparing 4,000 gift bags to be handed out to trick-or-treaters later today. president obama will welcome children from the boys and girls club from america and kids from military families. the business of fear for many of those trick-or-treaters heading to the white house today. it's all about finding the scariest more shreak-inducing costumes. joined now by vera gibbons. >> sounds like fun. >> we're trying to build that up
here. let's take a look at the way that businesses make money off these thrill-seeking consumers. >> first of all, 161 million americans will be up having some fun. 7 billion from food to costumes. the biggest chunk is 2.5 billion on costumes and 2.6 million men, women, and children will be going as zombies this year. we spend a lot just on celebrating the festivities. trick-or-treating, going to parties. >> you don't have to do much to be a zombie. what about haunted houses? >> listen to these statics, nearly 23% of people will go in fact to haunted house. we like to be spooked and scared. that's lucrative as well. in terms of how that translates into ticket sales, that is $360 million spent on haunted houses. i don't like them, but they are popular. >> horror films.
talk about box offices. >> 1.5 billion over the past three years. these are estimates from hollywood.com. movie makers like them because they are inexpensive to make and can be very lucrative. if you look at paranormal, 15 million to make it and grossed $162 mill kwlion. >> and vam mires. >> vampires are very popular. if you look at hbo's "true blood," everybody loves that show. five million regular viewers. fans overall, about seven billion since the twilight franchise came on to the seen. >> big numbers. >> yes. >> vera, thanks very much. >> thank you. the chilly northeast will have you thinking about the upcoming holidays but the holidays have already arrived at
mcdonald's where they are already playing christmas music. corporate sent out the cds and some are playing the music right now. ♪ the fire is so delightful ♪ and since we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ♪ there's an easier way. create your own small-business site... with intuit websites. choose a style, customize, publish and get found... from just $7.99 a month. get a 30-day free trial... at intuit.com.
[ barista ] i have two cappuccinos, one coffee with room, one large mocha latte, a medium macchiato, a light hot chocolate, hold the whip and two espressos, one with a double shot. hehe, that's not the coffee talking. [ female announcer ] start your day with kellogg's frosted mini-wheats cereal. the 8 layers of whole grain fiber help keep you full so you can avoid the distraction of mid-morning hunger. no thanks, i'm good. looking out the window at 30 rock center, there you can see the plaza full of snow. the ice rink is in full bore as well. we are getting snow. it's white as well. look at this picture. 50 stories up. you can't see a thing at the moment. snow is coming down at the moment. snow also falling this morning in harrisburg, pennsylvania. one of several places where several inches are expected to fall. so this storm packing a punch. nbc meteorologist bill karins
has the details. snow in the last hour, huh? >> unbelievable. new york city wasn't supposed to get snow until 6:00, 7:00 this evening. it went from 40 quickly down to 36 degrees as the snow brings down the colder air air. many areas north of philadelphia are starting to get north and it's accumulating quickly. we're going to have the bulls eye and many power outages and the power could go out. the white on the map shows you where the snow is. the pink is the mix t brings you farther down towards new york city. you saw with your own eyes, it is snow. we're going to get hit by a big snowstorm. this is the middle of the day. it's snowing in new york city. it's unheard of. as far as at temperatures go, 30s in many of the areas. it will get colder.
snow has trouble accumulating and it's almost like a wet rain for the most part. you can definitely see the flakes. we're not expecting a ton of snow from new york city to philadelphia. i'm worried about the prediction of one to two inches of slushy snow but the temperatures will not be cold enough as they get hi high accumulation. right through western new england and central new england. and you can see the leaves are green in new york city and it's snowing in new york city. >> they definitely are. thank you so much. mit mitt romney and rick perry are at full swing. he claims romney cannot be counted on to be a consistent president. joined now by carrie dan. she's been following the perry
campaign. thanks for stopping by and talking to us today. how did perry fair in new hampshire? seemed a little am nated when talking about his 20% flat tax plan. >> that's right. he had an event in new hampshire and he was extremely a animated. he was bounding on to the stage, cracking jokes. it was a very friendly crowd to him. some of the more conservative act very visits in the state of new hampshire. he was cracking downs and having fun at the expense of herman cain. let's take a look. >> the good news is, that little plan that i just shared with you doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint, if you know what i mean, like 9% expansion. i love him. he's the best. >> you can see there that perry was also -- this is a crowd very
sympathetic to cain. he didn't want to take aim at him by name other than tweaking on the 9-9-9 plan that would raise sales tax on new hampshire that currently doesn't have a sales tax. he was sensitive about the issue of abortion, something very near and dear to the activists' hearts. he said for some candidates the issue of life is something that they just talk about in election years to get votes. he's had a real record of coming through on his tenure in texas. >> you're there with all of the obviously staffers and the whole issue of whether he's going to continue to participate in the debates or not, we've been saying no and yes. so what are you hearing? >> the way that the campaign is hearing this, they got into this race really late and they are trying to schedule their candidate to do fund-raisers as well as retail politics, to go to each individual debate.
and it's short for them to do all of that in the future. >> it's going to be tough to do all of that. carrie dann, thank you so much. now to republican candidate michele bachmann who is pushing in iowa. her poll numbers have crossed since the summer, big time. it doesn't help that the press has caught her on some misstatements on the trail as well. time to do "fact or fiction." a new article was written on bachmann. good morning, sema. >> good morning, richard. >> first off, fact or fiction, 59,000 this year came across the border, from yemen, from syria. these are nations that are state sponsors of terror. fact or fiction? >> fiction. there are two problems with that. yemen is not a state sponsor of
terror. a very slim number came from countries tied with terror. >> okay. fact or fiction, she said if you want to build a building, you just build it. you don't go through all of the permitting process. that statement, fact or fiction? >> you need multiple permits to build in china. the world bank in 2008 found china the most difficult country to get building permits. >> and the tax rate was completely different years ago from what it is now, wasn't it? they are very high now. >> she was comparing taxes 50 years ago to now. a couple earning $379,000 now would may 35% of taxes and 30 years ago they would have paid 59%. >> she's not batting well. this statement, women who are undecided about having an abortion were shown an
ultrasound image of the baby. 78% chose life. fact or fiction on that? >> that would be fiction as well. she got that statement from "focus on the family," she said and which prompted them to say they have never authored such a study. >> where is she getting this information from? is it her advisers? she got that piece of information from somewhere else. >> right. she said she got that from a clinic in des moines but we can't find any statics that back that up. some of the information it seems like she gets from websites, she hears something from people, for example, the gardasil vaccination, she heard that from a peeping mother after a debate. >> so she's not doing well here, if she's hearing from all of these other places? >> right. i think someone needs to do a little bit of fact checking. >> sema from the l.a. times, thank you. >> thank you. alex witt is off today but office politics is not. she sat down with brian williams
to get a preview of his new show "office politics." brian gives his take on the mood of america. take a listen. >> we got some good news on the economy this week. talk to me about your impressions of the mood of america economically speaking. >> oh, man, what a dichotomy. what a -- you know, we on nightly news report the great day on wall street, we report the up numbers and then seconds later we report the occupy movement, the wounding of a successfully returned iraq marine veteran, the weirdness of hearing people call for a medic on the streets of america for a guy who at least we got back from a foreign battlefield and the deep discontent.
there's going to be a real lag time between these good -- those green up arrow rosses that we see on msnbc, nbc, and cnbc, for americans who are really hurting and need it. >> the environment here is really warm and homey. you are going to practically live in here, right? you have nightly news and -- >> my entire life within 50 yards. >> it's also freezing. you are the freeze king. >> i like a cold studio. i've been compared to mr. letterman along those lines. this, however, is really cold. what i also suffer from is a preponderance of guilt. and when i see my colleagues and co-workers in fleeces or down product, that means i have to back off my thermostat demands and warm it up a bit here. >> in keeping with the personality you have in here, you have books on flying, muscle
cars, mustangs. tell me about the car thing. have you raced cars? >> i have. i started as a 6-year-old where my dad threw me in the car and grew up on the "jersey shore" where there's a great subculture of auto racing and just cars, where there are still towns on the "jersey shore" where they cruise. >> i was going to ask if you cruised on a saturday night? >> on saturday nights even though i was a poor kid with a dodge dart, i would wash it up and if i had a girlfriend, i'd throw her in the front seat and we would go cruise up and down ocean avenue. >> you always have a girlfriend. >> no, i did not. because i suffered from a lack of courage at that age bau that's a different story. but any way, you know, all my friends gsh when my dad got a new mower, the minute he left for work i would take the engine apart and hopefully get it put back together by the time he got
home from work so he would know nothing. but my friend mike worked at adams aamaco station and you always had dirt under your fingernails and there was nothing more exciting than cars going too fast in a circle. i'm just back from the nascar race in charlotte. i watched talladega last week. and i love it. i love every bit of it. >> the final thing i want to touch on is what you and i were talking about. that's the importance of family. you are a great husband and great dad and now you have to watch your actress daughter get out there and face the critics. >> yes, my daughter has shot and wrapped a series for hbo in the spring called g"girls" and it's going to be no unlike the people have seen. >> you're going to watch that? >> i think the biggest challenge
will be finding something for us to do 13 straight sunday nights. say nothing of my in-laws and everyone i know. so we'll see. i'm enormously proud of her and my wife keeps saying, i want everyone to know i'm not the mother of her character. we're the mother of alison williams but we're enormously proud. >> as well as they should be. don't forget to watch "rock ken ser with brian williams." coming up, the big three pabl. what's the point of pitting hillary in a poll of candidates? and does it mean game over for rick perry? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." d up to bring you a low-priced medicare prescription drug plan. ♪ with the lowest national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things
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it's getting better now for now at least. i'm joined by erin, joy-ann reid and columnist with bloomberg view. thank you all. now, let's start with you. we learned that gdp is up 2.5% compared to the same time last year. it's good news signaling that the economy will avoid a double-dip recession. might this affect the gop election? >> i think it's a little early to start breaking out the champagne right now. we have seen the mini recoveries, or at least indications of them and then they have sputtered out. as long as unemployment remains high and people remain worried about europe and what affect it might have here, i think the republican message is going to be on the economy, absolutely. >> so, jow-ann, along with the dow going up, we're seeing 12,000, that little bit of news
has changed the thought in d.c., hasn't it? >> i think it's changed the thought on wall street and d.c. but for regular americans, i don't think the americans care about the dow. they are very sour on wall street and on wall street people. they want to see a trajectory in the right direction on jobs and the problem for republicans is that they are too worried about protecting the wall street guys, the 1%. so there is still changing a message is absolutely the wrong thing to do. they are going to continue to talk about job creation and continue to talk about cutting taxes. so many of these republican presidential candidates are now putting out flat tax plans, optional flat tax plans and flatter tax plans as mitt romney is going to do because that's what many people want to hear, that they are going to talk
about flattening the tax code and cutting taxes. they are not ever going to really veer from that message. >> all right. our big three -- we'll go to number two of that, and that is that rick perry says he may start missing some of the gop debates. joy-ann, can he do that? >> it shows incredible weakness to walk away from them. he can make the process argument all he wants. it looks like he can't handle it and he's going to have to eventually debate barack obama, president of the united states. it looks like he's not ready for primetime and he think he should dot debates. >> will it hurt him, nevertheless? >> there's a ridiculous number of debates but the one guy who can't drop out of them is rick perry. he's gotten such negative reviews and it's going to look
like he's scared of debating, just as joy-ann said. >> all right. let's move on to our third topic of the big three. hillary clinton, if she were the democratic nominee in 2012, she's ahead of mitt romney, 55% to 38%. doing better than what the president would do in these head-to-heads. what do you make of these numb sners >> she's out of politics. once someone leaves politics, they become more popular. now she's america's diplomat and the state and defense departments have had some very big successes in the last year or so. of course she looks better. once you're out of politics, you do well politically. >> joanne, will hillary clinton
help the president by stumping for him? >> because she's in the state department, she's not in a position to get involved in the re-elect campaign. i totally agree with the point made, she's happy not to have to make the difficult decisions. the difference really for me is whether or not these numbers will make her think twice about getting out of politics all together, meaning in 2016 when we have a jump ball election where she might be able to do pretty well. >> last word to you on the big three, are republicans happy that it's not hillary? >> i think so. look, she has no responsibility for the economy. she's not seen as having that responsibility. the administration's most popular successes involve killing terrorists and she is involved in that at the state department. she picked a very good job to have in this administration.
>> thank you all three for the big three. stick and, there's division among republicans. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at keller.edu. helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
time now for a look at who had the best and worst week in politics. we're back now with our panel. thank you for being here. we'll start with you, erin, who had the best week and give us a grade a through f. >> who had the best week in politics? >> yep. >> maybe president obama for changing the narrative, and the economy is doing better and him trying to go after things with these new executive orders. >> joanne? >> i agree. president obama has the right message, he's on the right side of that 99% versus 1% argument. >> you know what? i'm going to give herman cain a b because she's showing he can hang in there, she's not just in the bubble. >> who had the worst week? >> you know, i guess i would say
mitt romney because he's getting negative attention for his flip-flops. >> what would you grade him? >> i would give him a c. >> okay, joanne? >> i would give mitt romney an f for flip-flopping. he had the worst week. it's almost halloween, so i'll say i see the ghost of john kerry, 2004. >> you're a tough grader. >> i got to call it like i see it. >> erin, who had the worst week and also give us a grade. >> the words are taken out of my mouth, i would say mitt romney, not a good week for him. just the recurring narrative of him being a flip-flopper. i would go c or d. >> thank you all three. the big three for this saturday. great conversations we had this day. that wraps up this edition of "weekends with alex witt." stay with us for breaking news
throughout the day. up next, another msnbc docu-mystery. those are always good. have a very great day and halloween. ♪ we're centurylink ... we're committed to improving lives and linking americans to what matters most with honest, personal service... 5-year price-lock guarantees... consistently fast speeds ... and more ways to customize your technology. ♪
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